Henry R. Luce, founder of TIME, Fortune, Life and Sports Illustrated magazines, once said he became a journalist “to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.” I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the Savior of the world. While I count it a blessing to serve as editor of The Pathway, Jesus is the owner and publisher.
It has been almost nine years now since the editor’s search committee for the Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Board called me to this wonderful ministry. Those of us who have placed our faith in Christ understand that life will bring its share of crosses for us to bear. The Pathway has been no different, but such crosses have been endured with gratitude and immeasurable joy as the staff and I have served God and the citizens of our Southern Baptist and Missouri Baptist Zion. Though the lawsuits against the renegade agencies, attacks on our integrity, the rise of the Internet, and a general distaste for newspapers have collectively challenged our very existence, by the grace of God we press onward.
So it is with thankful hearts, humility and a good deal of relief that we present this newly designed version of the newspaper to our readers. It ends a year of reflection, research and prayer. While the cosmetic changes are obvious, readers will notice new features and tighter written stories designed to move readers through the newspaper quickly. While change has come, one thing will never change on my watch as editor: Our theologically conservative approach to Christian journalism, our loyalty to the SBC and the MBC and our commitment to fair and balanced presentation of issues and viewpoints within our Southern Baptist family. Jeremiah 6:16 remains The Pathway’s verse.
Even as we enter a new era with this redesign of the print edition, we also, with great anticipation launch a redesigned website that propels us into the future in ways that just a decade ago would have seemed improbable, if not impossible. The new website will offer many new features, enhanced archives with a super fast retrieval system, audio and video capabilities and interactive opportunities of which we hope readers will take full advantage.
I will continue my “Thoughts & Adventures” column, but I am especially excited about my new, daily blog, also called “Thoughts & Adventures.” It will offer different content than the news pages of The Pathway. I will attempt to briefly share breaking, daily news of interest – with comment and interaction with readers.
We will offer another blog called “Pastors’ Corner” hosted by The Pathway’s long-time friend, David Krueger, the 22-year pastor of First Baptist Church, Linn. Pastors’ Corner will be open to all, but its subjects will be geared toward the interests of pastors and church staffers. It will be strictly monitored. Civility will reign and violators will be censored and banned. Make plans to join the conversations. Another new feature will be Chuck Colson’s weekly “Two-Minute Warning” video on a Christian worldview topic.
Another way we are attempting to “connect” with our readers is by giving readers the opportunity to respond our stories. At the end of every story readers can ask questions and offer comments – via email – to the writers. We hope this will pull us closer together.
Speaking of writers, it would be irresponsible on my part not to acknowledge the contributions of Pathway Associate Editor Allen Palmeri, Staff Writer and Website Coordinator Brian Koonce and an outstanding array of freelance writers and photojournalists. A special thanks is due Murley Blakley, The Pathway’s patient and indispensable layout and design coordinator, and to Andree Ziehmer, executive assistant to the editor, who keeps us all pointed in the right direction.
A special thanks is due to the MBC Executive Board, its Pathway work group, MBC Executive Director David Tolliver and the MBC staff for their support and contributions. I want to thank our advertisers, our friends at the Jefferson City News Tribune who have printed The Pathway since its creation, and our loyal subscribers.
We hope the new-look Pathway promotes unity among Missouri Southern Baptists and serves as encouragement to readers around the world. To God be the honor and glory forever.